Saturday, September 3, 2011

Eating From the Garden

The New York Times had a wonderful article on the tastes of summer. And I have some new recipes to test-drive.

We have been eating from the garden. No peaches this year; the squirrels and rats get there first. But tons of basil and tomatoes, figs and mint, lemons and apples. We made Ina Garten's Baked Shrimp Scampi with garlic and lemons and basil from the garden.

An tabbouleh. Not the traditional Lebanese kind, with more parsley and mint than wheat, but a bastardized American version, an adaptable summer salad.
First bulgar wheat gets covered with plenty of hot water...
...and left to soak it up. A quick drain, the juice of one lemon and some salt...
Lots of mint, the best olive oil you have. Just before serving, and only on the tabbouleh you will be serving, add tomatoes. Cherry tomatoes if you have them. I also like feta, and I would have added some cucumber if I had any.
Tomatoes should never be refrigerated! But you knew that...that's why I put them only on the tabbouleh we're about to eat.

I'm not adding parsley at this time of year because it's old and tough. If it were young and soft I'd throw in a few big handfuls, but I like more mint than parsley.

I don't have a sunny flat spot for a normal vegetable garden, I tuck tomatoes in sunny spots by the front steps. I plant figs and lemons and apples instead of normal street trees. The neighbors can't decide if I'm crazy (probably) or brilliant (did you ever doubt?) but there are more vegetable gardens springing up nearby, and the neighborhood kids are enthusiastic lemon and tomato pickers. 

1 comment:

  1. We have been eating from your garden while you are away. Tonight I picked 107 cherry tomatoes, 16 Roma tomatoes and a dozen of the big red babies next to the driveway. I only stopped because the basket was full. There is an obscene amount left on the plants.

    My mother is jealous of your pumpkins; hers have not done as well.